[sic] Magazine

Talvihorros – Some Ambulance

I wasn’t particularly going to concern Phantom Channel with reviews, but when a record is good, as in the case with Talvihorros’ ‘Some Ambulance‘, it’s pretty easy to make exceptions. The work of London-based multi-instrumentalist Ben Chatwin, his latest recording enjoys the prestige of being on of Benbecula’s final few releases. Indeed, this record also enjoys a place on the Scottish label’s soon to be missed Minerals Series

‘Some Ambulance‘ should be the first port of call for those with even a passing interest in where electro-acoustic and ambient music is heading in 2009/10, while I can imagine the uninitiated finding lots to love too. There’s a strong Steve Reich influence prevalent here, especially the skillful use of slide-rule repetition, particularly found on ‘The Blue Cathedral’ and ‘Etude IV‘. But other tracks take different routes, ‘Death of a Dream‘ paints a bleak Morricone-esque picture with its forlorn guitar and solemn atmosphere created using a vibrant tapestry of sounds as its backdrop. While ‘A Rural Place‘ contains a staggered synth-rythmn and discordant effects that reminds me of something Thom Yorke might come up with in his solo ventures.

My favourite composition comes in the form of haunting opener ‘Handwriting (Part 1)‘ (and indeed it’s closing part which ends this release) mainly down to the fact I can detect a strong Labradford influence from the way it builds from its grainy beginnings into a vast melancholic dronescape flickered with static and tape hiss. The effect of the whole piece is somewhat gratifying and I can’t help but recall the first time I heard Nelson and co’s seminal ‘Praizision‘

I’ve found myself going back to this record time and time again. It’s endlessly listenable and it packs a surprise with each spin. A bit like Rudi Arapahoe’s 2008 record ‘Echoes From One To Another‘, Talvihorros’ release has come from nowhere and knocked me sideways. It is not an exaggeration to say this is one of my favourite records this year

NB: you can download two tracks from this record over at Last FM



For more from Micky please visit Phantom Channel